Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that begins in the basal cells. Basal cells produce new skin cells as the previous cells die. They often appear as transparent bumps on the skin. However, they can also assume other forms. These occur primarily on the skin areas that are exposed to the sun, mostly on the head and neck.
What Are The Symptoms of Basal Cell?
Basal cell carcinomas appear as changes in the skin; often, they are a growth or sore that will just not heal. These skin changes have some specific characteristics. Sometimes, they appear as a shiny, skin-colored bump that is translucent. Tiny blood vessels are visible through these bumps. These growths/sores can be blue/brown/black lesions or a white, waxy lesion without any defined borders.
What Is The Most Common Cause of Basal Cell?
A mutation in the DNA of the basal cells can lead to basal cell carcinoma. These cells are placed at the epidermal bottom. The epidermis is the outermost layer of skin. As mentioned earlier, the function of basal cells is to produce new skin cells as the old ones die. How basal cells create new cells is written in the DNA of the cell. When a mutation happens, the genetic information written in the DNA of the basal cells is changed. The basal cells multiply and grow rapidly. This accumulation of abnormal basal cells leads to the formation of a cancerous tumor. This tumor is basically the lesion that appears on the skin. Usually, UV radiations are the primary cause of this mutation. Exposure to the sun, therefore, is considered the leading cause of basal cell carcinoma.
However, there is a lack of understanding of the other factors that might have a role to play in the development of basal cell carcinoma.
What Are The Risk Factors for Basal Cell?
The list of risk factors for basal cell carcinoma is quite a long one. Some of these risk factors include chronic sun exposure, radiation therapy, fair skin, increasing age, personal history, family history, use of immune-suppressing drugs, and exposure to arsenic. Furthermore, inherited syndromes like xeroderma pigmentosum increase the risk factors for basal cell carcinoma significantly.
How Serious Is Basal Cell?
Basal cell carcinomas rarely spread beyond their initial site. However, they can grow and become more and more dangerous as they grow. If basal cell carcinomas are left untreated, they become locally invasive, grow widely, and grow deep into the skin. Once they grow into the skin, they can destroy skin, tissues, and bones.
How Long Does It Take To Spread?
Basal cell carcinomas can take years to spread and develop. They may not show up for years, even after being repeatedly exposed to the sun for long-term periods. However, that’s not the general rule of thumb. In some cases, the development and progression of cancer can be quite rapid.
How Curable Is Basal Cell Cancer?
If Basal cell skin cancer is detected early, then treating them becomes quite possible. In an event where the cancer is low risk, treating cancer through surgery or medicated cream is possible. However, this is a call that your doctor will make.
Do You Need Chemo For Basal Cell?
Chemotherapy is a rarely used option when it comes to treating basal cell carcinoma. Surgery and radiation therapy are preferred options.
What Are The Warning Signs of Basal Cell?
New growths or sores that won’t heal are warning signs of basal cell carcinoma. We have described these growths earlier in this article.
Treatment of Basal Cell Carcinoma
Surgery is the preferred option when it comes to the treatment of basal cell carcinoma. Removing cancer and some of the healthy tissues around the cancer is one of the better treatment options.
What Are The Complications?
Some of the complications associated with basal cell carcinoma include the risk of recurrence, an increased risk of other types of skin cancer, and metastasis of basal cell carcinoma.
What Happens If You Leave Basal Cell Untreated?
If basal cell carcinoma is left untreated, it can grow widely and invasively into deep tissues. These deep tissues include bone and cartilage.
Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatable?
If detected early, basal cell carcinomas can be treated and cured. So, yes, they are definitely treatable.
How to Prevent Basal Cell?
There are many preventive measures that one can take to avoid the threat of this skin cancer. Some of these preventive measures include avoiding the sun during the middle of the day, wearing sunscreen around the year, wearing protective clothing, and avoiding tanning beds. Furthermore, checking your skin regularly and reporting any transformations to the doctor is also an important step that you can take to prevent basal cell carcinoma.
Is Basal Cell Carcinoma Treatment Costly?
Like most cancer treatments, the treatment of basal cell carcinoma is also an expensive one. However, thanks to many charitable organizations, people from underprivileged backgrounds can still afford it.
Transparent Hands is helping underprivileged patients in Pakistan. It provides free medical and surgical treatments, arranges free medical camps, and raises awareness about different health problems in Pakistan. Through the Transparent Hands crowdfunding platform, donors can support any cause or campaign that appeals to their hearts.
(The information in this article should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice.)